Pro-lifers were gravely disappointed by Congress’s most recent failure to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Legislators passed the $1.3 trillion spending bill, and President Trump, despite threats to veto, signed the bill into law on March 23, 2018. Live Action News reported at the time, “Despite promises from GOP leaders, including Trump, regarding their intentions to defund Planned Parenthood, this provision was not included in the bill in the face of a potential government shutdown.”
But all may not be as rosy as it looks for Planned Parenthood and its customary $500 million forced annual ‘gift’ from taxpayers. The Department of Health and Human Services appears to be looking beyond Planned Parenthood as a provider for family planning services — and Planned Parenthood is apparently not happy.
On March 30th, the Washington Examiner reported that “More of the $260 million dollars in Title X funding for low-income contraception might go to other women’s health providers, including comprehensive women’s health clinics that practice modern fertility awareness-based methods.” Historically, the Examiner says, Planned Parenthood has been the recipient of about 25 percent of federal Title X family planning funds. Because this is now being threatened and Planned Parenthood is essentially having to compete with other, more comprehensive facilities, the abortion corporation has launched a smear campaign against the HHS department’s shift in focus.
Planned Parenthood issued a press release falsely claiming that HHS is attempting to keep women from going to providers which offer contraceptives. The reality is that HHS has actually expanded options for women, allowing those Title X funds to potentially go to other qualified providers who offer natural, non-hormonal alternatives for planning and spacing pregnancies.
Planned Parenthood’s press release links to an article from Politico, which, like a dutiful friend to the abortion industry, notes (with great alarm) that Trump-appointed “abstinence advocate,” Valerie Huber, is now going to decide where Title X money goes. The problem is, Politico’s article is full of inaccuracies. The Washington Examiner reports:
The actual announcement says that HHS is “solicit[ing] applications from public and private nonprofit entities, including comprehensive primary care providers … and women’s health centers … especially those proposing innovative strategies to increase the number of clients served or quality of services.” It goes on to say that it seeks broad competition and intends to “improve overall service provision” and “expand the breadth of service.” Programs that apply should prioritize low income families. Of course, the announcement does state that programs should offer a broad range of services, “including natural family planning methods – also called fertility awareness.”
In other words, it is clear that Planned Parenthood and centers like it won’t be excluded from funding, but rather, programs specializing in fertility awareness based methods could compete for Title X funding, thanks to the current administration’s efforts to meet a neglected portion of the statute’s regulation which requires the inclusion of FABMs.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t like this at all. After all, CEO Cecile Richards has publicly slammed fertility awareness methods before (albeit inaccurately). Richards is a smart woman, however; is it really likely that she painted fertility awareness methods inaccurately by accident? As reported by Katie Yoder, Richards wrongly equated fertility awareness methods to the “rhythm method” back in December of 2017:
“We just have seen a leaked memo that basically says that they’re going to try to redirect all the family planning program, where millions of women, how they get access to affordable birth control, to now begin to use it for fertility awareness,” she insisted. “But to really redirect it away from ‘artificial’ family planning to ‘natural’ family planning.”
Brown gasped, “You mean we’re going to go back to the Rhythm method?” and likened the decision to an “episode of Mad Men.”
Richards confirmed, “Yes, back to the Rhythm method.”
“It’s completely insane,” Richards added. “We provide birth control to millions of people every year, and what we usually call folks who come to us who use the Rhythm method, is parents.”
Yoder pointed out that studies have shown that natural family planning (NFP), when used correctly, is 97-99 percent effective, because NFP “take[s] account of a woman’s changing signs of fertility.”
It’s possible that the “leaked memo” to which Richards was referring is the HHS grant eligibility announcement, released on May 24, 2018. And, as has already been pointed out, no one is actually “try[ing] to redirect all the family planning program” to other providers as Richards claimed, but to merely open up the available family planning funds to offer more provider options for women.
But empowering women to truly learn of the amazing way their bodies work, and enlightening them to the fact that their fertility isn’t a disease, doesn’t exactly bring in business for Planned Parenthood. Giving women accurate ultrasounds, in real time, of their preborn children, doesn’t bring in dollars for abortion at Planned Parenthood, either. Telling women the truth about fetal development (instead of pretending, for example, that a 10-week old preborn child doesn’t resemble a baby) isn’t going to convince women that abortion is an easy way out with zero consequences. There’s a real human being in the womb:
Planned Parenthood is extremely passionate about denying pregnant women all of this knowledge when they come to Planned Parenthood centers. Most of Planned Parenthood’s centers don’t even offer prenatal care, should a woman wish to continue her pregnancy.
It’s very clear why Planned Parenthood is unhappy about the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to give women more real options for their healthcare: because the more women are empowered, the more they will realize that they don’t need Planned Parenthood.